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How does gum disease affect aging?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Dental disease and tooth loss don't just make us look and feel older, they actually do make us older. In fact, periodontal disease can make our RealAge (physiologic age) more than 3.7 years older.

What really affects our rate of aging is the presence of gum disease (gingivitis) or diseases that destroy the underlying jaw bone (periodontal diseases). These studies show that the presence of periodontal disease, a disease most common in people with tooth loss, actually affects longevity. The best of these studies (done at Emory University in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control) showed that people who have gingivitis and periodontitis have a mortality rate 23 to 46 percent higher than those who don't. In terms of RealAge, these dental diseases make you as much as 3.7 years older. Why? They are linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease and strokes, as well as to an increase in mortality due to other causes, such as infections. Conversely, the absence of periodontal disease makes you 6.5 years younger than the average person.
The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

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The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life

Why not live at 60 feeling like you did at 35?Thousands of Americans are younger today than they were five years ago. How is that possible? By following the specific recommendations that reverse...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.